DEFINITION of 'Annuity Factor Method'

A calculation method to determine the amount of eligible withdrawals that an investor can make from their IRA without incurring penalties. The calculation uses life-expectancy data; however, it utilizes different data than is used in the amortization method.

Using the annuity factor method, a retirement-account holder would divide the current IRA account balance by an "annuity factor." The annuity factor is calculated based on average mortality rates (using the mortality table in Appendix B of IRS Revenue Ruling 2002-62) and "reasonable" interest rates – up to 120% of the Mid-Term Applicable Federal Rate.

BREAKING DOWN 'Annuity Factor Method'

Using the annuity factor method, an investor can ensure that he or she does not lose account value to potentially costly penalties. It can also help an account holder determine how much money he or she may need to raise through other means (such as by securing a loan) in addition to withdrawing money from their retirement savings account to meet their current financial needs.

Withdrawing money from a retirement plan should be a careful decision as it gives the account holder less time to recoup value and earn interest on plan assets.

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